12 April 2018

Big Data, Big Impact

Flagship Project: Data Analytics, Modelling and Visualisation

Programme Duration: 2017 – 2020 (3 years)

Budget Allocation: RM 1,450,700.00

“… Knowledge is indefinitely power. Data is knowledge and that knowledge is incredibly powerful. It can be either for social, financial analyst, governments, travel analyst or business owners. With this vast amount of information, along with increasingly development means of disseminating the data could potentially mean that we are able to control the risks and effects that Big Data will have in our decision making..” – Assoc. Prof. Dr. David Asirvatham, the Team Leader for Flagship Programme Data Analytics, Modelling and Visualisation

In this 21st century, the internet has become our escape path. It has been a convenient tool that assisted in simplifying our everyday tasks. This tool has become the beacon in this millennium. This is no longer a want, but it is necessity. We use this tool every day from the cars we drive, to our travel plans, medical, banking enquiries, personal profiling, traffic monitoring and so forth. Nevertheless, the technology, which accumulates to Big Data, has allowed us to become an open book towards everyone and everything. For instance, if you use a smartphone or social media. It will determine a great deal of what you watch, read, listen and many more. Big Data indefinitely permeates all aspects of our modern life. Nonetheless, Big Data seemingly controls everything around us. More often, the influence of Big Data in our Daily lives is opaque and invisible. Something that we as users would choose to ignore. Seemingly how much of our lives is influenced by Big Data?

Data is knowledge and that knowledge is incredibly powerful. It can be either for social, financial analyst, governments, travel analyst or business wonders. This vast amount of information, along with increasingly development means of disseminating the data could potentially mean that we are able to control the risks and effects that Big Data will have in our decision making. This information has such a wide range of uses for a wide range of disciplines, which in turn has positively become a trend for future improvements.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. David Asrivatham is leading the flagship research programme titled Data Analytics, Modelling and Visualisation. This flagship programme is centered upon 3 main pillars, which are Cyber Security, Big Data, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT). His objective is to develop the expertise and experience in Data Analytics, Modelling and Visualisation. Besides that, with all the accumulating raw data, he hopes to change this raw data into valuable insights. Furthermore, Dr. David wants to develop new solutions and tools for Big Data Analytics, while applying Big Data Analytics to a wide range of applications to gain better insights to the real world problem. Indefinitely, Dr. David wants to promote Data-Driven decision-making solutions for industries.

Using the 3 pillar components; Cyber Security, Big Data, Cloud, IoT, the multi-disciplinary flagship programme is divided into 6 main projects. The projects involves School of Computing & IT, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Event, and Taylor’s Business School. Dr. David is also leading the projects; Travel Behaviour Modeling using Data from Smart Mobile Application. This study is investigating the social behaviour of urban Malaysians towards the use of transport. Transportation is a necessity for our day-to-day activities. With that, Dr. David wants to study the perception that users have towards transport and climate change. The criteria’s that he will assess is the users’ travel habits, their choice of transports and issues pertaining to transport and travel patterns. From these data, Dr. David would be able to create a model to conceptually decipher the travelling patterns of Malaysians.

The second project is Virtual Tourism in 3D Virtual Worlds by Dr. Rokkhshad Tavakoli. Virtual Tourism has become a widespread social practice in contemporary society, while corporeal patterns of mobility concurrently increases. However, tourists’ experiences in virtual tourist remain unexplored. Dr. Rokhsad will study on methods to develop model for tourists’ motivation travelling to an actual destination after experiencing a virtual destination. Besides that, she plans to develop a framework for the destination markers in virtual worlds to advertise their destinations in virtual worlds. This study will create a beter understanding in the necessirty of virtual tourists.

The third project is led by Dr. Thulasyammal Ramiah Pillai regarding Modelling & Visualisation of Air Pollution and its impact on health. According to a recent report by World Health Organisation (WHO), 6,251 deaths in Malaysia in 2012 is caused by outdoor air pollution. Air pollution is indefinitely a silent killer which results in heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, pulmonary disease and lower respiratory disease. Dr. Thulasyammal wants to develop an advanced methodology for assessment of population exposure to air pollution using hybrid spatial model, which consists of Land Use Regression (LUR) model, dispersion model and spatial GARMA model. Besides that, Dr. Thulasyammal wants to quantify the effects of air pollutants on cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and all-cause mortality using the hybrid spatial model and regression model.

On the other hand, Dr. Azween Abdullah is working on the project CRIMENET: A Framework for Graphical Visualisation of Criminal and Terrorist Networks using Extreme Learning and Predictive Modelling. With developing technologies, there is also an increase in virtual crime. The communication data and social networking application are becoming increasingly important for criminal network analysis. These data provide a digital trace, which can be regarded as a hidden clue to assist in solving virtual criminal cases. Dr. Azween wants to design an overall framework for criminal and terrorists’ visualization network tool, a learning algorithm for graphical bas theed visualization systems and a new algorithm to compare the validity and accuracy of graph-based systems. Besides that, Dr. Azween wants to develop a criminal and terrorists  visualization and prediction tool for crime prevention and criminal network analysis. This study will indefinitely benefit our developing country to apprehend these virtual criminals.

Concurrently, Dr. Md Hamid Uddin is doing An Empirical Study on Cyber Risk and Bank Stability. Despite the installation of high-cost IT Infrastructure, cyber threats are rapidly growing worldwide. With that, this cyber threats can create a major cyber security risk for banks as without a complete security framework the Internet could make the banking system vulnerable to cyber threats. Dr. Hamid wants to identify the optimal level of cyber investment by banks and to suggest a legislation for minimum level of cyber infrastructure in the banking industry. The study will assist in IT experts to work for a cost effective solutions in tackling cyber security threats without abrupting the growing need of cyber security.

Lastly, Assoc Prof. Dr. Raja Kumar Muregesan is working on spatial Big Data and IoT for Coastal Erosion and Filed Mitigation and Prediction Project. With the number of people living in the coastal areas rapidly growing, we must take necessary precuations to prevent any unwanted disasters. Storm, floods and erosion has a major impact on coastal population, infrastructure and ecosystems. Dr. Raja will collect datasets related to the topography, meteorology and sea data; sea level, waves, currents, etc to combine and analyse the effects in order to derive knowledge and predictions of poetential natural disasters. Spatial Big Data Solutions combined with IoT will help predict and mitigate risks related to floods and coastal erosion. This study plans to develop a methodology for integrating microcomputer based IoT combined with GIS Technology for coastal erosion and flood prevention and mitigation based on spatial data analysis.

From banking, cyber security threats, to health awareness analysis and environmental check and balance, Data Analytics has proven to create a form of advantages for each user, no matter the situation. We can go back and say, Big Data does have an impact in our everyday decision-making. Without all of the analysis, predictions, it could be impossible to detect any imperfections in the systems that we currently have. With the development of Data Analytics, our current technology can be further developed and enhanced to overcome the threats and predicaments that will come our way. 

Taylor's Department of Computing taking group photo after conference
Big data play an important role in research
Assoc. Prof. Dr. David Asirvatham
Team Leader for Flagship Programme Data Analytics, Modelling and Visualisation